In Oct 1967, a 16 date UK package tour with Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Move, Nice and Amen Corner kicked off at the Royal Albert Hall, London... can you imagine such a tour, taking place today? No is the answer. Which is a shame, what a great way to see five or six happening acts, all on the same night.
John McLaughlin plays the guitar with a fluency of expression rarely seen. Others, like Coltrane and Miles, have possessed this fluency, and like McLaughlin, used it as a way to tap into a spirituality which today eludes most musicians. But what links these musical geniuses is an intensity of self-enquiry borne of a golden era of music.
As The Beatles' 'Tomorrow Never Knows' fades out over the PA, the feedback groan of Barrie Cadogan's Gibson splits the air, a white umbilical guitar lead coiling obscenely into the amp. Five minutes into the gig and the band has put a grip on a crowd who twist with delight in the dark womb of the club.
Musicians who made it through the 1960s are now dying in their 60s. Within the next 20 years, the generation that sang My Generation will be gone. (John Entwhistle died in 2002 aged 57.) These players belong to my parents' generation, and this is what makes their passing so bitter: You know Mum and Dad are next.